OS on an external hard drive ?

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Hi, does anyone know if it is possible to run a laptop using an alternative
operating system on an external hard drive? Effectively running the hard
drive as a separate computer using the patop's keyboard etc.
Any advice would be welcome

Re: OS on an external hard drive ?

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To keep it easy, it all depends on the motherboard BIOS options.  If the
BIOS options are not there to boot from USB or Fiberwire then you are
usually out of luck unless you use a form of dual boot setup on your primary
hard drive.

Go to your BIOS settings and see what choices you have for boot devices, and
see if they be set to boot in your choice starting order.

On some you can choose to have a USB device as your first choice to boot
from, rather than say the CDROM or IDE Drive.  If the computer detects a
valid USB drive it will boot from the OS contained on it.  You might need to
temporarily set the boot order to allow CDROM first and USB Second with no
other devices in order to force the motherboard to allow installing the OS
of your choice on the USB drive.  When the USB drive is configured you
should set the drive order to 1) USB, 2) CDROM and 3) HD or 1) USB, 2) HD,

When done right all you would then need to do is shut down the computer,
plug in the USB device with the installed OS, boot the computer and away you

Yes there are other ways of doing this but this is one way of forcing the
system to boot from an external USB drive with out having to make ANY
changes to the working configuration on the internal hard drive.

Re: OS on an external hard drive ?

Rick Savery wrote:
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There are probably lots of ways to do this.  All depends on what you
want to accomplish.
I've been playing with virtual PC...can be downloaded for free.
It's an emulator that lets you run any OS simultaneously in a window.
Put the other OS anywhere you want.  My XP laptop can run XP, 2K, 98,
linux all simultaneously in different windows.
There are hardware issues, but the performance was much higher than I

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